3001: The Final Odyssey (Voyager) Hardcover – 20 Mar 1997
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Then it came close enough for visual inspection.
"Goliath here", Chandler radioed Earthwards, his voice tinged with pride as well as solemnity. "We're bringing aboard a 1000-year-old astronaut. And I can guess who it is. "
Thus after drifting to an icy death in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the body of astronaut Frank Poole is recovered in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Preserved at near absolute zero, it is a simple task for medical science a millennium hence to restore Poole to life--though strangely for a novel which pits religion against science, the metaphysical implications of technological resurrection are unexamined --and the first half is devoted to Poole's integration into the society of the future. If anything he adjusts with far too little grief or culture shock: apart from mourning his dog, and learning how the new technology works, he faces no major difficulties. Still, the world of the future is drawn with broad, imaginative strokes and apart from a persistent continuity error which makes Poole 6 years old in 2001, this is fascinating stuff. The plot kicks into gear with the revelation that the famous black monoliths may ultimately not have humanity's interests at heart, leading to a perfunctorily presented struggle for survival. Clarke himself notes that the ending is functionally identical to that of Independence Day, though novel and film were created simultaneously. Not the hoped-for late classic, 3001: the Final Odyssey does provide the satisfaction of closure to Clarke's epic Odyssey Quartet.--Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"3001: The Final Odyssey has an eerie and compelling plausibility."
"A fascinating picture of our future: cities atop needlelike towers that extend into space, the colonization of Venus, the pacification of humanity, and the abolition of religion."
"Science-fiction master Arthur C. Clarke has taken generations of readers to the far and lonely reaches of the universe."
"From the Trade Paperback edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
When I first read this on publication in 1997 I hated it, thinking it a travesty of the original '2001: A Space Odyssey', however ten years later having re-read all four novels back to back I find myself a lot more impressed by it, with the ultimate showdown between humanity and the monoliths being a natural extention of the ongoing narrative of the earlier books, and the fact that certain aspects are open to debate (are the monoliths malfunctioning, or is this all another alien test?) adding to the fun.
Clarke's increasing habit of re-inserting entire (albeit small) chapters from previous novels does reach annoying heights here, though the argumet could be made he is refreshing readers memories of past events, but on the whole '3001 - The Final Odyseey' is an enjoyable ride, as Clarke paints an intruiging future life for humanity and brings the monolith tale to a close.
A solid finale.
As Clarke notes in an afterword, it's not possible to be completely consistent in a series about the near future that was written over a period of thirty years, and this book is better viewed as a variation on a theme rather than a sequel. With that in mind, the within series continuity glitches aren't an issue, although there are a couple of annoying glitches within the book's own timeline. The real problem is that this book is mostly a travelogue of the year 3001, with the section about the monoliths feeling sketchy and tacked on. There's also a problem with some blatant preaching in places, when characters who are supposed to be having a conversation sound more as if they're reading a prepared speech to sway an audience. I found it
annoying, and I agree with many of the views being espoused.
It's a readable and often enjoyable book, but I expect better from Clarke. I'd have felt cheated if I'd spent the money to buy this in hardback.
Uncharacteristically lacking the science we're used to from Arthur C Clarke and the earlier three 'odyssey' books, and a pretty weak story too, with some horrible timing errors, all of which I can't help but think are the author's way of letting us know that he's not too keen on the book either, like he's telling us, this is a bit sh!t, don't bother reading it, you know it's a wrong 'un!
I wish I hadn't read it now, after enjoying the first three books enormously, this one has left a bad taste in the mouth.
I had though that 2001 was one of those stories that should never be explained. It should be left there to hang for all eternity, always to leave you wondering. It would be extremely difficult to come up with an appropriate ending to the series and 3001 just didn't do it. The ending was very "ordinary" and boring. It pulled the entire series down to "normal" level and basically ruined it in my opinion.
As a stand alone, the book is good and interesting and enjoyable in a Buck Rogers fashion. As an ending to the 2001 series - it's a disaster. I wish I had never read it.
Anyhow, on the matter of the book itself, as a whole, it allowed me a huge sigh of relief! 2010 and 2061, while still by no means bad, weren't as mind-blowing as 2001, so they did make me feel rather unneasy about how the grand finale would be. But mercifully, I'd say that 3001 is the best of the lot, (phew!) I tell you, that's how every final book of a series should be.
The end message of this book is perhaps its strongest point. It's incredibly redemptive and satisfying, tying up all of the loose ends. The main body of the book also has good points, with much scientific intrigue. Some sections of the narrative are very readable, and the pacing of these sections is also something to behold. The storyline is perhaps even better than that of 2001, with even more plot twists which will keep you thoroughly hooked.
This said, I DO have gripes. First of all, the drama. In parallel with previous works in the franchise, most of the drama shown in this story is certainly unnecessary. Honestly, it's so loosely tied in to the main storyline - (if at all) - that it adds about as much positive influence to the book as an internal infection would to the human body.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good way to finish the series but not a brilliant book. It just doesn't seem to have enough in common with the first booksPublished 7 months ago by JLo
An absurd ending...bringing Poole ' back to life' seemed to me to be a desperate attempt to squeeze more out of the tale. Read the 1st 2 and forget the last 2.Published 9 months ago by Tony Doddery
a great book it finishes the story off from 2001, 2010 and 2061Published 12 months ago by Susan Bailey
This book is a big disappointment. After the thrill of the original 2001 and the two subsequent books, I was looking forward to a capstone book where we learn much about the social... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Charles Ashbacher